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«Кассини» рассмотрел резкую перемену в атмосфере ТитанаData spacecraft Cassini linked seasonal shift in sunlight with a full change (and unexpected heights) circulation of the atmosphere of the moon of Saturn the Titan: at the South pole on change to a recent upwelling came lowering of air masses. Thus the key to circulation of the atmosphere of Titan was it the sunlight, underlines the study's lead author Nick Tenby from Bristol University (UK).

Vortex above the South pole of Titan (image from NASA).

Experts, by the way, what rather surprised by the speed with which these changes have taken place, especially given the fact that the year on Titan lasts thirty earth and seasons there goes very slowly by our standards.

In the Solar system besides Earth, Venus, Mars and Titan have a hard surface, and the volume of the atmosphere. "The atmosphere of Titan helps us understand our own complicated situation, " explains Deputy project Manager Cassini Scott Edgington from the jet propulsion Laboratory of NASA. - Complexity and here and there, the result of interaction between the atmospheric circulation and chemistry".

Because the orbital geometry winter hemisphere of Titan, as a rule, looks backward of the Earth. Only through Cassini arrived at Saturn system in 2004, we were able to look at Titan unusual angle and monitor seasonal changes. The model is able to predict what will happen on the satellite within the next twenty years, but direct observation there's no substitute.

Some devices Cassini recently got a picture emerging haze and vortex above the South pole of Titan, but no data of the composite infrared spectrometer, sensitive to a much greater height, have provided better information and more directly tracked changes in atmospheric temperature and gas distribution (benzene, hydrogen cyanide and other), and also revealed changes in the difficult to monitor vertical winds and global circulation.

In addition, Cassini discovered complex chemicals in the atmosphere at heights of up to 600 km above the surface, and showed that the atmospheric circulation is approximately 100 km above, than was considered. Compression sinking air caused the formation of "hot spots", soaring high above the South pole, the first sign of a major change in the future. Scientists were also able to see very rapid changes in the atmosphere and determine the shift circulation in the six months before and after the August equinox 2009, when the Sun shines directly on the equator Titanium. The change of circulation means that in the two years before and after the equinox some gases have grown in 100 times - nothing on Titan was not yet evident.

Data show that a separate layer of fog (first discovered the "Voyager") is not as separate, for complex chemistry and vertical atmospheric movements over him. This layer may actually be an area in which small haze particles are merged into larger, but transparent and ultimately fall deeper, giving the Titan typical orange shade.

The study is published in the journal Nature.

Based on the materials of the jet propulsion Laboratory of NASA.
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